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  • Ask the doctor: Help clinicians help you | Esperanza - Hope To Cope
    can do to recover from depression The National Network of Depression Centers prioritizes periodic self rated assessments of depression anxiety sleep suicide risk and substance use when indicated It doesn t have to be complicated One good method is an old fashioned handwritten diary Another is a simple daily numbering system with 0 being no symptoms and 10 the worst ever The newest approaches involve responding to a brief prompt sent to your smartphone to graph progress for you and your doctor A variety of apps are available including Mood 24 7 from Johns Hopkins University and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance s DBSA Wellness Tracker Remember too that the people you are closest to may offer some of the best insights about how you re doing and what s been working Make them partners in your treatment OPEN UP The saying in real estate is that only three things really matter Location location location In this case it s openness openness openness Being candid about your experiences rather than trying to put on your best face will allow your psychiatrist to best help you And it should be a two way street Don t be reluctant to ask your doctors questions Learn as much as you can about evidence based outcomes what works and what doesn t Keep asking until you understand why certain treatments are being recommended Don t be reluctant to ask for handouts or articles to take home Or take notes during your session Knowledge heals Getting the most from your time with your psychiatrist or any mental health or medical practitioner for that matter requires coming to appointments prepared adhering to the agreed upon treatment between appointments and monitoring your progress being honest with your practitioner and continuing with what works once you have reached recovery About the author esperanza Has 732 Articles 1 COMMENT dark male June 5 2015 Reply I didn t know this before I started treatment but writing down every little things does help you to remember things when they happen We tend to forget stuff while in the doctors office I once gave my doctor a copy of everything I wrote down so she would understand how I felt at the time LEAVE YOUR COMMENT Cancel reply Your email address will not be published Required fields are marked First Name or Nickname Do not use full name Email Message CURRENT ISSUE Recent Issues November 1 2015 2 07 pm Fall 2015 GLENNON DOYLE MELTON Truth warrior In her Momastery blog her popular speaking tours and her book Carry On Warrior Glennon Doyle Melton shows it s OK Read more August 1 2015 2 07 pm Summer 2015 LEE WOODRUFF STRESS TEST After a family crisis left Lee Woodruff with symptoms of depression and anxiety she found the courage to reach out for Read more May 5 2015 9 31 am Spring 2015 DEPRESSION WHAT BREED IS YOUR BLACK DOG The unwelcome pup looks different for everyone and your particular

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  • Ask the doctor: Putting the reins on your active brain | Esperanza - Hope To Cope
    discuss all sleep disturbances with your regular provider to develop short and long term strategies to manage them Emerging sleep difficulties could indicate that the illness is not properly managed and that medications are not at optimal doses Your care provider may want to check levels of meds or increase doses and evaluate the results of the changes If the medications are at the maximum dose or the side effects of the medications are at the maximum level of tolerance the clinician will review and discuss additional options If your care provider has tried a number of options without success it can be helpful to seek a consultation with a different provider Not all sleep difficulties require medical changes or specific interventions There are a number of self care strategies to manage sleep and energy Although sticking to a consistent sleep schedule can be incredibly difficult for someone with bipolar the importance of a regular routine is tantamount Ensuring that bedtimes waking times and the evening meal follow a regular schedule will help tremendously For those with bipolar often the challenge is dealing with the amount of energy that can escalate in the late evening The urgency for tasks anything from a term paper to housecleaning becomes compelling and before you know it it is 3 a m Developing a successful winding down routine in the evening to prepare for sleep is necessary A calming activity such as an hour of reading or playing a mundane board game can be very helpful Taking evening medication at a planned time in consultation with your care provider usually an hour or two before the agreed bedtime is also key A calm steady routine is so very helpful when dealing with an illness that has the potential to cause life threatening instability Better sleep and a healthy routine help your energy level over time and contribute significantly to maintaining wellness and preventing episodes of mania and depression Engaging a family member or friend in your routine and sharing your plans for stability with your care provider will add additional links in the wellness chain About the author taazaa Has 8 Articles LEAVE YOUR COMMENT Cancel reply Your email address will not be published Required fields are marked First Name or Nickname Do not use full name Email Message CURRENT ISSUE Recent Issues November 1 2015 2 07 pm Fall 2015 GLENNON DOYLE MELTON Truth warrior In her Momastery blog her popular speaking tours and her book Carry On Warrior Glennon Doyle Melton shows it s OK Read more August 1 2015 2 07 pm Summer 2015 LEE WOODRUFF STRESS TEST After a family crisis left Lee Woodruff with symptoms of depression and anxiety she found the courage to reach out for Read more May 5 2015 9 31 am Spring 2015 DEPRESSION WHAT BREED IS YOUR BLACK DOG The unwelcome pup looks different for everyone and your particular form of depression can make a difference in choosing Read more February 1 2015 2

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  • Finishing Strong Takes Razor Focus | Esperanza - Hope To Cope
    Communications designed to raise awareness remove the stigma and instill hope in those who live with a mental health diagnosis Her mission is to have society and medical professionals view individuals living with mental illness as courageous survivors who want to be accepted not rejected respected not pitied and admired not feared Carol provides programs to hospitals medical and nursing schools as well to associations organizations and corporations Further Carol has been interviewed numerous times about her experience on television radio and in print Carol has written two books My Journal of Gratitude and Will I Ever Be the Same Again Transforming the Face of ECT She is currently working on her next book Unwrapping the Gifts from Depression Visit Carol s websites www CourageousRecovery com and www carolkivler com 1 COMMENT Mohammad November 22 2015 Reply since the front page changed i am not senieg all videos come up that i have subscribed to i also really dislike how few show up as featured this improvement is no improvement at all i would like the option to use the old front page as it was before this mess LEAVE YOUR COMMENT Cancel reply Your email address will not be published Required fields are marked First Name or Nickname Do not use full name Email Message RELATED ARTICLES Healthy Attitudes and Values Can Over Time Help Ease Depression and Anxiety January 19 2016 12 39 am You probably dislike as much as I do phrases like Just pull up your boot straps Just snap out of it and You just need How To Use The Past To Improve TODAY January 7 2016 12 01 am As the New Year starts rolling in you may be eager to look ahead identify what you want to do or accomplish in your The Most Important Gift You Can Give Yourself December 24 2015 12 01 am There is a book which changed my life in such a profound way that I used to share it with my patients at the partial Gifts of Exhilaration December 22 2015 12 05 am Exhilaration That s the best word I can think of to explain just how great life feels after being bogged down for decades with chronic depression Book Categories All Books Anxiety Depression Children For Loved Ones Living Well Memoirs Treatment CURRENT ISSUE Recent Issues November 1 2015 2 07 pm Fall 2015 GLENNON DOYLE MELTON Truth warrior In her Momastery blog her popular speaking tours and her book Carry On Warrior Glennon Doyle Melton shows it s OK Read more August 1 2015 2 07 pm Summer 2015 LEE WOODRUFF STRESS TEST After a family crisis left Lee Woodruff with symptoms of depression and anxiety she found the courage to reach out for Read more May 5 2015 9 31 am Spring 2015 DEPRESSION WHAT BREED IS YOUR BLACK DOG The unwelcome pup looks different for everyone and your particular form of depression can make a difference in choosing Read more February 1

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  • Open Your Eyes to Well Days | Esperanza - Hope To Cope
    reminds us don t become a person who spends so much time watching his her health that you haven t the time to enjoy your wellness and recovery Trust me life passes by too fast to miss out on the good days Reflection Question What will you do first to start enjoying your well days About the author Carol Kivler Has 44 Articles Carol A Kivler MS CSP of Lawrence NJ is the founder of Courageous Recovery a division of Kivler Communications designed to raise awareness remove the stigma and instill hope in those who live with a mental health diagnosis Her mission is to have society and medical professionals view individuals living with mental illness as courageous survivors who want to be accepted not rejected respected not pitied and admired not feared Carol provides programs to hospitals medical and nursing schools as well to associations organizations and corporations Further Carol has been interviewed numerous times about her experience on television radio and in print Carol has written two books My Journal of Gratitude and Will I Ever Be the Same Again Transforming the Face of ECT She is currently working on her next book Unwrapping the Gifts from Depression Visit Carol s websites www CourageousRecovery com and www carolkivler com 1 COMMENT Depression Definition Disorder August 31 2014 Reply Depression may create difficulties in relationships with family friends can lead to social isolation difficult behavior decreased school performance disinterest in things that until now were perhaps very pleasant for him Depression in children is associated with an increased risk of suicide because most children and teens that have resorted to taking life and to have a mental health disorder such as depression LEAVE YOUR COMMENT Cancel reply Your email address will not be published Required fields are marked First Name or Nickname Do not use full name Email Message Book Categories All Books Anxiety Depression Children For Loved Ones Living Well Memoirs Treatment CURRENT ISSUE Recent Issues November 1 2015 2 07 pm Fall 2015 GLENNON DOYLE MELTON Truth warrior In her Momastery blog her popular speaking tours and her book Carry On Warrior Glennon Doyle Melton shows it s OK Read more August 1 2015 2 07 pm Summer 2015 LEE WOODRUFF STRESS TEST After a family crisis left Lee Woodruff with symptoms of depression and anxiety she found the courage to reach out for Read more May 5 2015 9 31 am Spring 2015 DEPRESSION WHAT BREED IS YOUR BLACK DOG The unwelcome pup looks different for everyone and your particular form of depression can make a difference in choosing Read more February 1 2015 2 12 pm Winter 2015 TAKE THIS TO THE BANK Stressing out about finances These strategies can help you take control of your wallet and your worries by Kelly James Enger Read more SoundOFF MOMS DEPRESSION What is it like to be a mom with depression What is hardest for you What helps you cope CLICK HERE TO ANSWER CURRENT RESEARCH Shake

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  • VIEWPOINT: No pain? That’s gain! | Esperanza - Hope To Cope
    and brave then A leader You know manly stuff In both my professional and my private life I was drawn toward roles that demonstrate those qualities Roles that require those qualities I would start out proud of myself eager to show the world what I could do There would even be some successes And then the expectations would creep in My own expectations other people s expectations my expectations of what other people were expecting Expectations are bad for me Very bad Kryptonite bad Cue the early warn ing signs To do lists of tasks that never get done Check Rationalizing time spent on trivial distractions Check Well hello symptoms Over the last few years I ve consciously resisted any temptation to take charge It is hard a little shameful even to accept that I am not a leader At least not that type of leader though I ve been a valuable mentor to several people I ve made other adjustments as well For one thing I m now a consultant which means I make more recommendations than decisions Because of some of those changes I am not the primary breadwinner in my family a manhood defining role going at least as far back as Cro Magnon Man I m still working on accepting that But here s the funny part In the process of paring back the things that I think I should be I have been finding myself much more confident about the things that I can be I don t know yet where this discovery is going to take me but confidence is kind of a new sensation And speaking of funny stop me if you ve heard this one before Two therapists walk into a bar and Tagged with Depression self image About the author Michael Rafferty Has 15 Articles Michael Rafferty is a freelance writer and consultant for nonprofit organizations He and his wife live in the Boston area LEAVE YOUR COMMENT Cancel reply Your email address will not be published Required fields are marked First Name or Nickname Do not use full name Email Message RELATED ARTICLES Managing Depression and Living Well February 10 2016 11 01 am Through Veterans own voices Veterans have the chance to hear from trusted and credible sources other Veterans like themselves In this video hear Veterans share their Appreciating the Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma Experienced by Therapists February 2 2016 12 35 am The long row of 80 motorcycle police officers in a two wide formation was followed by a black hearse and a black limousine We passed them Douglas M Duncan The Politician s Courageous Depression Disclosure February 1 2016 2 52 pm In his 24 year career in public office including three terms as the top elected official in Maryland s most populous county DOUGLAS M DUNCAN became a Andrew Solomon Reflects on Resilience February 1 2016 2 03 pm In Andrew Solomon s award winning memoir The Noonday Demon he explored depression recovery and

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  • Helping me through my depression | Esperanza - Hope To Cope
    watching home movies hearing things from my husband and kids that they like about me reminds me that while I may feel sad or numb right now I ll get through it Tagged with husband Kelley Baker relationships spotlight spouse Spring 2014 support About the author Kelley Baker Has 1 Article Kelley Baker is raising a teenager and toddler outside San Diego California 6 COMMENTS Kathleen A Brown May 27 2014 Reply Kelley Thank you for putting yourself out there in writing about this sensitive issue All of your points are very valid to the point I too am now being treated for depression that was probably an inherited trait are much older than you appear in the photo have an older disabled husband with grown children I just wonder if you receive or even seek help from an Almighty God He helps me not immediately like the at your side touchable family or friends that are visibly present but He helps me greatly during those times of temporary physical isolation from friends family through reading His Word prayer Sacrament I offer this information as an additional comment to you your readers Mariangel July 7 2014 Reply Kelly sometimes it is very hard for people to really understand how ordinary everyday activities sounds for me as Hymalayas to be climbed And adding the feelings of worthless ineficiency and have your job at risk because i cannot have a regular attendance put in my shoulder the fear of being perceive as irresponsible and be better out of the workplace no matter how good i am in my professión Aparte from than and what is more painful form me is the attitude of my fámily who scarcely recognized my efforts of achieving professional reconognition but this just happenes when it is too obvious to be neglected Most of the time they are prome to Focus on the things i cannot achieve And for me blames comes from my inner self and are concistently reinforced by my family the educacional institución where i work and al the people who considerar themselves with the right to have an opion on my proplem Unfortunately i don t feel the support i need from my family friends of colleges suddenly the person who is more supportive to me is my psichologist and not the people who are supposed to Love me more Just more pressures and guilt and no solutions from them is the only response i have expERIENCED from them And it is very hard to fight the demonds in my mind if you areel completely alone and punished for beiing so Unlike you i dont have a family of my OEM no husband no child no unconditinsl hubs no cooperatation with houdehold chores no visitings at my home to lake me reel loable just blaming on how i disappoint other people Mondel August 14 2014 Reply Mariangel I have just found this website now I saw my doctor today and she suggested I look into this magazine I too have suffered from depression for many years To complicate things I also have SAD and excessive daytime sleepiness I really hit the jackpot didn t i Anyway in reading your message I connected with you I do have a husband and family My family is supportive but after reading Kelly s blog it has given me some good ideas with specific suggestions on how to help me Right now summer I have been feeling great thanks to medication and years of counseling However come January all bets are off Imstruggle just to wake up and get out of bed My point I telling you all of this is that my husband is of little to no help He can t relate to me at all when I am depressed and kind of goes into his own cave to stear clear of me He won t discuss it with me and when I try to open up to him I basically get a ahuh He asks no questions and just hears me talking but I m not sure he listens at all It is depressing to me that he responds this way He just can t handle it I am planning on setting up a strategy with close friends and family members for this coming winter I am going to speak to them about what I go through and how they can help me If you can find just one person perhaps a therapist who understands depression and on whom you can lean then I suggest you do that Too often friends and family don t know and don t understand what we are experiencing because WE are ashamed to ask for help To air our dirty laundry so to speak We must advocate for ourselves I have learned that no one is just going to magically appear abd offer their help We Must ask Perhaps also through your church or house of worship a priest minister nun may also help you I hope these ideas help you to get the support that you need and deserve Diane October 29 2014 Reply Thank you for your story I can so relate I will keep you in my prayers lizzy December 19 2014 Reply I think from reading the article and people s comments that we suffer in silence it s just easier to keep our depression to ourselves than bother our family or friends I don t have a supportive husband he just tells me to take another pill Argggh I want to crawl in a hole and cry when he responds to my depression this way One thing that has kept me going is my doggie For some it s their cat but my dog has helped me in innumerable ways to fight this depression He may not understand what I am saying but he understands my moods Berry December 22 2015 Reply I am hitting rock bottom and I don t have anyone to

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  • Lee Woodruff: Stress & Lessons of Recovery | Esperanza - Hope To Cope
    to help us make it through the perceived danger I had friends family faith and fun but I had all these plates spinning and they just crashed after a year With stress disorders however those responses continue even when the immediate cause is gone According to Lee It s a payback after your adrenaline surges These feelings are something that live with us after trauma It s a hard wired response to stress not a horrible shameful thing Things happen in life that are bigger than you They are not your fault It s what happens when your life spools out of control Caregiver burnout Ultimately it was Lee s mother now 82 who encouraged her to seek help using imagery that evokes the gear used to protect soldiers from harm She said I think you need body armor you need to talk to someone and take medication Many of the same approaches used to treat clinical depression and anxiety talk therapy a course of medication healthy lifestyle changes such as getting regular exercise and good sleep also help people who are experiencing adjustment disorders or post traumatic stress One of the reasons Lee continues to talk about what she and her family went through is to raise awareness about caregiver burnout which she refers to as the next third rail in mental health Like many mothers Lee had to learn to be good to herself while still being there for her family Whether we are caring for our partners or aging parents we must be good to ourselves and be great stewards to our own selves she said It s OK to ask for help and take medication For Lee a sense that the stigma around taking antidepressants has receded made it easier to start treatment Staying on medication for a year helped me hit the reset button she told esperanza but I still had to do all the work By all the work she means buckling down in talk therapy as well as making lifestyle changes that promote physical and mental well being Exercise plays a big part in her maintenance I ve always been an exerciser who could go for a run that would change my mood I m a swimmer too and one of the first things I did when Bob was in the hospital was find a pool I got in the water every day It really helped she explained According to Straker the New York psychiatrist Exercise is one of the best antidepressants and anti anxiety treatments out there because it boosts our body s own supply of natural feel good chemicals called endorphins Lee also found a therapist who happened to be a former priest When she asked him for something she could hold onto when life was at its bleakest he offered advice that helped her then and still helps her today It s a payback after your adrenaline surges It s a hard wired response to stress not a horrible shameful thing When you are feeling sad depressed or anxious go to the land whether water or hills and let nature in she recalls The therapist also recommended that she go back to basics when she is having a hard time He told me to ask myself Do you have a roof over your head Enough to eat People who love you and whom you love Everything always looks better in this light All in the family Looking back Lee thinks she might have kept too much from her kids She thinks it might be more helpful for the whole family if parents were more forthcoming during traumatic times within limits Historically we would say nothing to children but history needs to change she said adding Kids don t want to hear all the possibilities and potential outcomes they want big broad brushstrokes When her son was having trouble sleeping the two would say a prayer before bed It was that simple He fell asleep Giving back helped the family move forward too They founded the Bob Woodruff Foundation to assist injured servicemen and their families The nonprofit foundation has raised more than 20 million which has been invested in grassroots groups that help veterans get the care and the fresh start they need One of the ways to pull yourself out of the mine shaft is giving back Lee noted There are many people who have one one hundredth of what Bob and I had We had resources and friends who jumped in to do everything for us These families need our help Her own family is doing well Lee is a contributor to CBS This Morning Her bibliography now includes P erfectly Imperfect A Life in Progress seriocomic reflections on marriage raising kids and coping with life s curveballs and Those We Love Most her debut novel Bob is back to where he was before the injury physically and professionally Whether we are caring for our partners or aging parents we must be good to ourselves He is a living miracle The brain is such an incredible mystery Lee said Their twins are now 15 and the older children embarking on adulthood All four are thriving Lee said though she admits she s still not ready to ask how they really felt after their dad s injury There s still a scab there They look great and are doing great but I don t want to look under the rug yet These days she is feeling something akin to post traumatic gratitude Out of stress can come growth she says You learn to feel things more enjoy life more and laugh more after you see horrible things Sidebar In her own words In an Instant A Family s Journey of Love and Healing 2007 This memoir which draws on journals that Lee Woodruff kept takes readers on a heartfelt tour through her marriage with journalist Bob Woodruff before during and after he was injured while covering the conflict in

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  • Conquering the stigma within | Esperanza - Hope To Cope
    and career goal He founded the advocacy organization Face It to make sure other men and the people who love them understand that depression isn t something you just get over He teaches a course on mood disorders at the University of Minnesota s Graduate School of Social Work He also tells his story to workplace audiences as a consultant for businesses wanting to organize in house depression programs Due to his advocacy work Mark can now see himself as a leader not a failure someone who helps others rather than someone who couldn t even help himself Apart from the personal benefits advocates like Mark who get out in the community and challenge public perceptions play a powerful role in making depression less of a shameful secret striking at the heart of self stigma The more ordinary Joes who come forward he says the better It also helps when celebrities go public with their stories says former Vancouver psychiatrist Janet Taylor MD MPH who is now based at Columbia University in New York City Media coverage of athletes and entertainers who have sought treatment for depression social anxiety and other disorders makes the option more doable for the rest of us Connect with peers Normalization takes place on a more private basis too through peer support sharing stories with and hearing stories from others who are experiencing depression When you identify with similar people you feel less beat up and lousy from stigma says Corrigan Stacy G champions the healing properties of peer power For example she describes hearing someone complain about letting his worries snowball and feeling relieved to know she isn t the only one to experience what she calls brain spirals Stacy organized a peer support group at her local church which she says has been a savior for many people Members exchange humorous slang for mental illness and coping techniques such as laughter yoga and volunteer work She also regularly posts on self help forums Speaking openly about depression to people who are experiencing it helps you know you re not alone she says Share the truth Corrigan endorses peer support as a means of counteracting self stigma but he especially recommends disclosure that is coming out into the open about your illness to whatever extent is comfortable As we ve seen with gays keeping a secret is stressful because you perceive it as shameful says Corrigan But telling a peer or someone else dissipates tension and improves self esteem as well as physical health Amy K of Prairie Village Kansas was diagnosed with depression anxiety and PTSD while still in high school and remembers being afraid of how her friends would react if they found out For years she lived with self doubt and a sense of failure as her chronic depression persisted despite counseling and different medications When I am free from shame or judgement I am empowered and make better healthier choices It is difficult to form a healthy self image when you feel flawed or defective says Amy now a 36 year old wife and mother Amy withdrew from college twice due to poor concentration and learning difficulties She had trouble working because of fatigue anxiety and physical ailments including headaches gastrointestinal complaints and fibromyalgia Her self esteem was further eroded by the reactions of unsympathetic or skeptical relatives including her husband The knowledge that others may perceive you as less of a person because you are challenged with these issues is very daunting says Amy She learned the hard way however that buying into the shame game can have life threatening consequences To stay on the path of wellness she says I have to remove any sense of shame or judgment from my life When I am free from that I am empowered and make better healthier choices In addition to finding effective medications Amy has embraced life style changes such as exercising more eating better and practicing relaxation techniques In turn as a blogger and community supervisor for the depression forum on WeGoHealth a self help website whose slogan is empowering health activists to help others she encourages other people with depression to make healthier choices You must first attack stigma on the personal level then the societal level We must remake the culture to allow for discussion about mental health Her husband still isn t entirely comfortable about having her depression out in the open she says but I try to let him know that I am not embarrassed about it so therefore he doesn t need to be embarrassed for me She credits BreakThrough a program offered by HeartConnexion Ministries in Kansas to help participants rethink their life stories for giving her the insight she needed to see herself in a new way and fully accept who she is It takes a long time to get there she says but I finally understand that I am no less of a person because of my health issues I share my diagnosis pretty publicly and it s been incredibly therapeutic Be the change Stepping out of secrecy can be liberating but sharing the truth with friends co workers and supervisors sometimes has unfortunate consequences Therefore Corrigan explains disclosure can be a selective process For instance it may be more comfortable to confide in a friend who already knows someone dealing with depression It s an individual decision because you do risk something Corrigan says Manon Charbonneau MD a Quebec psychiatrist and past president of the Canadian Psychiatric Association CPA decided to take the risk big time After weighing the possible costs to her career she revealed her history of depression before hundreds of colleagues at a CPA convention Her change of heart was a long time coming When Charbonneau first developed depression as a psychiatric resident some 20 years ago she was careful to keep her diagnosis and treatment a secret Stigma in the medical community an educated population that might be supposed to know better hasn t improved

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